Smart911 aids campus police, emergency response

In an emergency, speed counts.

Text messages relay key information to the campus community as quickly as possible during an imminent, life-threatening emergency. Now, the University has another tool to speed emergency response: Smart911.

Smart911 allows faculty, staff and students to register information they want campus police to have if they call 911 from their cell phones and the call goes directly to campus police or is routed to campus police from an off-campus 911 center.

Smart911 is a free service. A joint program of the Department of Public Safety and the Division of Student Affairs, Smart911 builds on the technology of Rave Wireless, which the University uses to send emergency text messages, and which provides GPS tracking for University cell phone users.

People can supply the information they think would be most helpful to campus 911 dispatchers. Options include phone numbers, a photo, physical description, local address, relevant medical conditions and emergency contact information.

All data submitted are encrypted to protect user privacy. Smart911 works when a 911 call is routed to campus police – in general when a call from a cell phone is made on campus, although that could vary depending on the person’s location when placing the call.

Currently, the University is the only location in the immediate area that has Smart911. It is not available to off-campus safety officials; however, if the 911 center receiving the call directs it to campus police, the caller’s profile will be available.

For information about Smart911, including a link to register, refer to smart911.unc.edu.